The Helpful Reviewer

Conquering Writer’s Block

Monday, June 15, 2020

One of the most dreaded and feared things among screenwriters, both novices and experts, is writer’s block. That horrible time when you just can’t put pen to paper. No words come out. You even start to wonder if writing is your calling or not. And you have no idea what to do to get writing again.

Every writer at one point or another will experience writer’s block. That’s almost a given. But the causes can be infinite. Some common ones are:

  • Fear of writing: trying not to mess up or wanting to make things perfect.
  • Not being prepared enough: for example, not having a good outline or treatment so you don’t know where the story is going or how to get to where you want the story to go.
  • Doubting yourself: feeling like your writing is not good enough or that you’re not a good enough writer.

But regardless of why it is that you seem to be experiencing writer’s block, the question remains-- How do you go about conquering writer’s block? Unfortunately there’s not just one answer. You have to try different things to find what works for you. But don’t despair—there are definitely multiple things you can do that can get you writing again in no time!

So what are some suggestions to overcome writer’s block?

  • Find out if you’re a morning writer or a nighttime writer. Not everyone can write at different times of days. Knowing what works for you can help you get writing again.
  • Write freehand and jot down whatever comes to mind about the project you’re stuck with, for 30 minutes.
  • Take a break, go outside, run, take a walk, listen to some music, and enjoy nature. Just find a distraction to clear your head, and then try again.
  • Write down ideas for other projects or start writing a new project. Sometimes switching to a new project can get your creative juices flowing again, and give you back the confidence in your writing, which in turn can unblock you from that other project.
  • Try meditation to clear your head.
  • Team up with a writing partner or join a writers’ workshop. Brainstorming with peers is a great way to unlock new ideas and get you writing again.
  • Watch films or TV shows similar to what you’re stuck writing, to get ideas on how others have found a way to get to different plot points.
  • Push forward with your current project. Perhaps you don’t know how to write the scene that comes next, but you know the ending. Try writing that, to see if that inspires you to find how to get your story and characters to that point.
  • Get rid of all of the distractions that might be preventing you from writing.


Cody Smart

Cody Smart

Reviewer

Cody is an independent writer and script doctor from Santiago, Chile. She attended the prestigious Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where she double majored in English Literature and Linguistics, with a minor in Dramatic Literature. She moved to L.A. and got her MFA in Screenwriting at the New York Film Academy, Universal Studios location, while at the same time working at Sony Pictures as a reader and story analyst. She also received two Certificates from UCLA, in Development and Producing for Film and TV.

Aside from her years of experience as a studio reader, she’s a judge for multiple script and film competitions, has written some award-winning short films and feature film scripts, she’s been working as a script analyst and doctor for years helping writers take their scripts to the next level, and is currently the head of the coverage department at Story Data.